BALTIMORE (Oct. 7) — Female Health Co. has developed a nitrile latex female condom targeted primarily for developing countries outside the U.S. where price is an issue.
The firm´s second-generation FC2 Female Condom, made of nitrile rather than polyurethane, can be obtained in bulk for as little as 22 cents a unit, FHC said, vs. 72 cents for the FC1 PU condom.
The new option "will be made available to developing countries at significantly reduced pricing when purchased in large volumes," said Mary Ann Leeper, president and chief operating officer of Chicago-based FHC.
The nitrile rubber version looks and performs in a statistically similar manner to FHC, the firm said.
FHC disclosed the development at a summit in Baltimore on use and availability of condoms for women. At that summit, Leeper challenged the global public sector to form a collective to ensure that FC2 is made available at the lowest possible price.
Leeper also presented findings of a study by David Holtgrave, chair of the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, which showed that at low levels of use, more than 2,000 HIV infections would be prevented and about $1.4 million in health care costs saved in one year. The study looked only at Brazil and South Africa.
At high levels of use, FC2 could prevent as many as 32,000 HIV infections, saving as much as $66.9 million in HIV-related health care costs a year, the study said.